10th International Temperate Reefs Symposium (ITRS)

Ally Evans

Aberystwyth University


10th International Temperate Reefs Symposium (ITRS), University of Western Australia, Perth
The spectacular University of Western Australia, Perth, was host to the 10th International Temperate Reefs Symposium (ITRS) in January 2014. The ITRS has a committed following of marine scientists working on temperate hard-bottom habitats. Scientific collaboration and communication are considered a key focus of this broad and inclusive symposium. The overarching theme for the 2014 meeting was Ecological Transitions, encompassing research on natural rocky reefs, man-made structures, and biogenic surfaces. Session themes included Global Change Biology and Ecology, Thresholds of Change, and Human Impacts.

As part of the Human Impacts theme, I delivered an oral presentation entitled “Building-in beneficial features: an artificial rockpool case study”. In the third year of my PhD study, this was a tremendous opportunity to present my research to experts in the field and to seek valuable feedback before entering the critical final stage of the project. A personal highlight was listening to a plenary delivered by CSIRO’s Dr Alistair Hobday about the importance of applied research and partnership with management agencies for addressing the challenges of climate change. As a PhD student working on an applied ecological conservation project, this inspired and encouraged me about the value and potential impact of applied science, in a world where blue sky research often receives greater esteem. 

A lively poster session and social programme also allowed me to form rewarding links with a wide range of people at all stages of their careers. I have returned to work at Aberystwyth University with a renewed energy and enthusiasm for my research and potential future career. I am truly grateful to the Challenger Society for their generous grant funding which enabled me to attend this conference.  

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